Good Boy!

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Good Boy!
Good boy poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Hoffman
Produced by Lisa Henson
Kristine Belson
Written by Zeke Richardson
John Hoffman
Starring Liam Aiken
Matthew Broderick
Music by Mark Mothersbaugh
Cinematography James Glennon
Edited by Craig Herring
Production
company
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates October 10, 2003 (2003-10-10)
Running time 87 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $18 million
Box office $45,312,217

Good Boy! is a 2003 comedy film, directed by John Robert Hoffman and produced by Jim Henson Pictures, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and starring 7 talking dogs. The film stars Liam Aiken as Owen Baker, as well as the voices of Matthew Broderick, Delta Burke, Donald Faison, Brittany Murphy, Carl Reiner, Vanessa Redgrave, and Cheech Marin as the abundant dog characters in the movie. The film was based on the book Dogs from Outer Space by Zeke Richardson. John Hoffman and Richardson collaborated on the screen story, while Hoffman wrote the screenplay.

Plot[edit]

Owen Baker (Liam Aiken) is a 12-year-old who has been working as the neighborhood dog-walker so he can earn the privilege of getting a dog of his own. Owen's hard work pays off when his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Baker (Molly Shannon and Kevin Nealon), let Owen adopt a scruffy Border Terrier that he names Hubble (voice of Matthew Broderick). Owen has little time to make lasting friends, so he hopes Hubble will be his best friend.

Owen does have a friend named Connie Flemming (Brittany Moldowan), a girl his age who lives in the neighborhood. But that won't be for long if Owen's parents continue their trend of buying and selling houses. Owen and Hubble get more than they bargained for when Owen wakes up one morning to discover that he can understand every word Hubble says—including the ominous phrase: "Take me to your leaders."

Owen learns that dogs came to Earth thousands of years ago to colonize and dominate the planet. Hubble, who is really named Canid 3942, has been sent by the powerful Greater Dane (voice of Vanessa Redgrave) on a mission from the Dog Star Sirius 7 to make sure dogs have fulfilled this destiny.

The dogs Owen walks include pampered Poodle Barbara Ann (voice of Delta Burke), cool Boxer Wilson (voice of Donald Faison), nervous Italian Greyhound Nelly (voice of Brittany Murphy) and gassy Bernese Mountain Dog Shep (voice of Carl Reiner).

Despite the best efforts of Owen and this rag-tag group of neighborhood dogs to convince Hubble that everything is fine with Earth's dogs, Hubble soon discovers the awful truth about Earth dogs: "You're all pets!" Things get worse when Hubble learns that the Greater Dane is headed for Earth to do her own inspection. If things don't look right, all dogs on Earth will be recalled to Sirius 7.

Owen and Hubble have to work together to prepare the neighborhood dogs for a visit from the Greater Dane and her Chinese Crested henchman (voice of Cheech Marin). Owen, Hubble, Connie, and their canine pals set out to whip the other dogs into shape so that they can pass muster.

Cast[edit]

Voices[edit]

Production[edit]

Special effects[edit]

The bulk of the digital effects in Good Boy! involved digitally altering the facial features of the dogs so that in the film, they appear to be talking or expressing a different emotion (sometimes called CG muzzle replacement). These effects were handled by Rainmaker Studios.[1]

Reception[edit]

The film's domestic total gross was around $37 million, with a worldwide gross of around $45 million.[2] Good Boy! received mixed reviews from critics, earning a 45% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times disliked the way Good Boy! was handled. "Sometimes it works to show their lips moving (it certainly did in "Babe"), but in "Good Boy!" the jaw movements are so mechanical it doesn't look like speech, it looks like a film loop. Look at "Babe" again and you'll appreciate the superior way in which the head movements and body language of the animals supplement their speech."[3]

However, Good Boy! has gained a cult following and many people and channels (such as Access Hollywood, United Paramount Network, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Jeanne Wolf's Hollywood) praised the film. There was also a BBC-animated short film from 2002 that accompanied the entire theatrical release. It is called Hamilton Mattress, and after the release, it was on Cartoon Network. Afterwards, in 2004, it was released on DVD and VHS.

Home media[edit]

Good Boy! was released on DVD and VHS in 2004.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Karen Moltenbray, Tongue-Wagging Effects, Computer Graphics World, December 2003, Volume 26, Number 12
  2. ^ [1]. Boxofficemojo.com.
  3. ^ [2].Rogerebert.suntimes.com.

External links[edit]